Many people with fibromyalgia suffer from a range of additional diseases. One of the tragedies of living with such miserable pain is that it is not only debilitating in itself, but also makes you vulnerable to the development of many other conditions. And polyneuropathy is one of the most common diseases in people with fibromyalgia.
Polyneuropathy is a condition in which the nerves are damaged, causing tingling and pain throughout the body. And sometimes, it can be difficult to distinguish between the pain of neuropathy and the pain of fibromyalgia. So let’s talk about neuropathy. What is it? How is it related to fibromyalgia? And what can you do to treat it?
What is polyneuropathy?
Neuropathy is caused by nerve damage. In cases of polyneuropathy, the principle is the same, but specifically, it affects the peripheral nerves on both sides of the body. Nerves play a central role in the transmission of pain signals to the brain. When the tissue is damaged, it sends signals to the brain. The brain, in turn, treats this signal and interprets it as pain. This is the system that warns you to protect damaged tissue and plays an important role in the functioning of the body.
But when the nerves themselves are damaged, it results in a fairly uncomfortable pain that can become chronic. The most obvious symptoms of polyneuropathy are tingling, burning, or numbness that spreads to the limbs on both sides of the body.
What distinguishes polyneuropathy from normal neuropathy is that the sensation is symmetrical and also affects both sides of the body.
Like fibromyalgia, polyneuropathy causes pain in the limbs. But you can distinguish the disease from fibromyalgia by carefully considering the type of pain you are feeling. If it is an acute pain in the muscles that seems to radiate from 18 specific points, it is probably fibromyalgia. But if it is more of a general tingling or a burning sensation along the limbs, it is probably a neuropathy.
Neuropathy can be caused by many different factors, many of which may be related to fibromyalgia.
How is it related to fibromyalgia?
It should be noted how nerve damage is common in people with fibromyalgia. It is estimated that nearly half of people with fibromyalgia also have a condition called “small-fiber peripheral neuropathy”. It is a condition that causes the kind of tingling and burning that we associate with nerve damage.
We do not know why, but it may reflect the role of the nervous system in fibromyalgia. The same defective neuronal pathways that cause the pain of fibromyalgia may contribute to neuropathy in some patients.
In addition, diabetes is one of the most common causes of polyneuropathy. And people with fibromyalgia suffer from diabetes at a higher than average rate. It is therefore possible that if you have a concomitant illness such as diabetes and fibromyalgia, it can lead to nerve pain.
How can you treat it?
There are many ways to treat nerve pain. The first step is to make sure you do not make life choices that can aggravate your nerve pain. Alcohol is one of the worst factors of nerve damage. Not only does drinking through the canal cause nerve damage, but it can also aggravate existing nerve damage. Reducing alcohol and ensuring that your diet is rich and balanced and correcting vitamin deficiencies are lifestyle adjustments that can help reduce the amount of nerve pain you feel.
In addition, some tasks, such as typing on a computer, can compress your nerves, which can lead to injury. Make sure to take breaks after repetitive tasks, especially if your members start to tingle or feel numb.
When it comes to medical options, there are some medications that can help treat nerve pain. And it’s worth noting that many of them are usually prescribed to treat fibromyalgia, so you can gain additional benefit from your medications.
The first type of medicine is an anticonvulsant. These attenuate some of the interactions between the nerves of the brain. That’s why they are used to treat seizures caused by nerves sunk into the brain. And the evidence shows that they can also help reduce the pain of neuropathy and fibromyalgia.
The second type is antidepressants. If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, there is a good chance that you have been prescribed a drug like Lyrica or Cymbalta. But not only do these medications help treat fibromyalgia, they can also help reduce nerve pain.